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01/05/2011 / Test All Things

A Letter To Miss Richmond – March 6th, 1855

My dear friend, Miss Richmond,

I am much obliged to you for your kind communication of the closing scenes of our lamented friend’s earthly life. I perceived, when I last saw him, the inroads which his disease had made on his appearance and constitution, and was therefore the less surprised to hear of his decease. He was a man so thoroughly sincere, and indeed so scrupulous to say nothing of himself but what his conscience could fully bear witness to, that we can receive with implicit credit what he said in those solemn moments. In those who have walked many years in tribulation’s thorny road, and have at various times been favoured and blessed, we do not expect such a, what is called, triumphant death-bed, as in those who are removed in their first love. The promise is, that in Jesus they shall have peace. Their experience of the deceitfulness of their own heart has stripped them of lying hopes and a false peace; and therefore when we see them in the enjoyment of peace, with eternity in full view, we cannot but believe that the peace of God is keeping their heart and mind through Christ Jesus. This our dear departed friend seems to have felt and enjoyed. I attach more weight to this, and his holding up his hands at the last, than what you mention of a more visionary nature. He was, as you justly observe, a firm friend to, and unbending pillar of, truth; and his quiet demeanour and consistent conduct for many years recommended and adorned his profession. Being so long afflicted with a complaint from which recovery was hopeless, we need not wish him detained here below. Among the blessings of the realms above, is that “the inhabitants thereof shall no more say, I am sick.” Those only who have a sickly tabernacle can fully prize such a promise. Our dear friend, we fully hope, has entered into the enjoyment of it.

I am at present but poorly myself, having an attack of influenza on my chest. Truly this is a dying world. On last Saturday, my friend Mr. Harrison, of Leicester, was removed from this valley of tears. In helping to move a tree, he received a blow on the chest which produced inflammation of the heart, under which he sank. He was one of the kindest, sincerest friends that I was ever blessed with. How all these dispensations speak to us with a loud voice, “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth!” Twenty-four years have passed away since I spent the winter at Sutton Courtney, and nearly twenty since I left the Establishment. Mrs. Lowe, H. Witney, and poor Brookland, with many others who used to hear my voice, have been removed from time into eternity, and these departures of our friends all seem to say, “you also be ready”. But the Lord Himself must be our help, and hope, and all. To Him, and to Him alone, must we ever look, for there is salvation in no other. He is the way, and the truth, and the life, and no man comes unto the Father but by Him.

Yours affectionately,
J. C. P.

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